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Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids

GUEST,Tom Bliss 31 Mar 09 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Russ 31 Mar 09 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 31 Mar 09 - 01:50 PM
peregrina 31 Mar 09 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Russ 31 Mar 09 - 01:59 PM
Steve Gardham 31 Mar 09 - 07:02 PM
nutty 31 Mar 09 - 07:38 PM
Liz the Squeak 01 Apr 09 - 12:32 AM
GUEST,TB 01 Apr 09 - 03:48 AM
Azizi 01 Apr 09 - 03:24 PM
Azizi 01 Apr 09 - 03:29 PM
SINSULL 01 Apr 09 - 04:14 PM
Mrs Banjiman 01 Apr 09 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,S-j in Newcastle 01 Apr 09 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,S-j in Newcastle 01 Apr 09 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,S-J in Newcastle 01 Apr 09 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Apr 09 - 12:21 AM
Acorn4 02 Apr 09 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Apr 09 - 10:25 AM
Mo the caller 02 Apr 09 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 28 Apr 09 - 07:31 AM
melodeonboy 28 Apr 09 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 28 Apr 09 - 12:02 PM
Dave Ruch 28 Apr 09 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,TB 28 Apr 09 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,Old Roger is Dead 01 Aug 10 - 01:13 PM
Mo the caller 02 Aug 10 - 03:12 AM
Martin Graebe 02 Aug 10 - 04:50 AM
stallion 02 Aug 10 - 05:23 PM
GUEST,DAe 02 Aug 10 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,Dave Hunt 02 Aug 10 - 06:05 PM
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Subject: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 11:44 AM

Has anyone got any suggestions for some really good trad story songs for kids, 5-13. Ideally English or with 'b'ritish connections. Or story songs about children (but not ones where they are murdered or worse please - I know plenty of them!) and a few game/riddle songs might come in handy too.

Many thanks in anticipation.

Uncle Tom Cobblers (and Owl).


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 01:42 PM

When you say traditional songs "for kids" do you mean traditional songs that kids actually like or songs that adults want kids to like.

In my experience, if you mean the former, the higher the body count the better. If you mean the latter, I can't help you.

Russ (permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 01:50 PM

LOL - I mean ones I'll not be chucked out of schools for singing!


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: peregrina
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 01:56 PM

How about browse the
Yorkshire Garland Website

for Cock Robin, Old Grimy, The Old Sow has Mezzles, The Red Herring?


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 01:59 PM

That's what I thought you meant.

Sheila Kay Adams tells a story about being read the riot act by a grade school principal. She had sung a ballad that referred to the kissing of "cold corpsey lips." Kids loved it. Adults were less enthusiastic.

There are lots of good versions of the frog went a'courting story.

Unless the adults have issues with inter-species marriages, it should be pretty safe.

Russ (permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 07:02 PM

Why not ask the kids? They still know hundreds! be prepered to be shocked though.


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: nutty
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 07:38 PM

There are some excellent song book with trad songs .... most schools should have them ....

The Jolly Herring
Strawberry Fair
Apuski-Du (not sure of the spelling)

They quite often appear on ebay.


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 12:32 AM

Damn.. there was me thinking 'what a great deal, here have my kid and I'll take 'The Banks of herring' or something in a similar size....

Listen to Roy Bailey's back catalogue - a lot of his earlier work was for children. Most of the ghoulish little darlings like 'You need skin'...

LTS


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,TB
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 03:48 AM

Thanks all.

Perhaps I should explain that this is for a crucial showcase event, for work in primary schools, so I'm looking for songs that teachers will approve of, but that the kids won't already know. (I'm also offering a module on English TradArts, so links into that are a bonus). Obviously I know lots of songs already, but you can't have too many to choose from and calling good ones up from my addled brain is not proving easy anyway! My own kids are much too old to be of any help, and I can't get into any schools for the time being, certainly not before the deadline. I do have some teachers advising me, but they know little about this subject, which is why i came here.


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Subject: ADD LYR: OLD PONTO IS DEAD
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 03:24 PM

Tom Bliss, "Old Ponto's Dead" is a song that is included in Dorothy Scarborough's 1925 collection of "Negro" children's game songs
(I put that referent in parenthesis since the formal referent now is "African American").

Here's a footnote about this song from a message that a Professor Kittrege wrote to Dorothy Scarborough:

"Your Old Ponto is Dead is an English song-still popular as a game-song. The person who is dead (in English and in American versions) is Oliver Cromwell (Old Crumpy, Old Crony, Old Pompey, Old Grundy, Old Grumley, Father Adam, Grandaddy, Sir Roger, Little Johnny Wattles, etrc. See my note in the Journal of American
Folk-lore, XXXV, 407."
-Dorothy Scarbourgh,On The Trail Of Negro Folksongs (Hatboro, Pennsylvania; Folklore Associates, 1968; originally published Harvard Univ. Press, 1925), pp.136

Here's the words to the version that Scarborough included in that book:

OLD PONTO IS DEAD

Old Ponto is dead and laid in his grave,
Laid in his grave, laid in his grave.
Old Ponto is dead and laid in his grave.
Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!

There grew a large apple tree over his grave,
Over his grave, over his grave.
There grew a large apple tree over his grave,
Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!

The apples got ripe, beginning to fall,
Beginning to fall, beginning to fall.
The apples got ripe, beginning to fall.
Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!

There came an old woman a-picking them up,
A-picking them up, a-picking them up.
There came an old woman a-picking them up.
Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!

Old Ponto jumped up and gave her a thump,
And gave her a thump, and gave her a thump.
Old Ponto jumped up and gave her a thump.
Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!

It made the old woman go hippity-hop,
Hippity-hop, hippity-hop.
It made the old woman go hippity-hop.
Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!

The bridle and saddle are on the shelf,
On the shelf, on the shelf,
The bridle and saddle are on the shelf.
Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!

If you want any more you can sing it yourself,
Sing it yourself, sing it yourself.
If you want any more you can sing it yourself,
Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!

Sources: W.H. Babcock in "Games of Washington Children" in American Anthropologist", July 1888 (the title of 'Babcock's' version is "Old Humpsy"; and Ella Oatman of Houston, Texas (the title of 'Oatman's' version is "Old Ponto". Oatman wrote that "As children we added the bridle-and-saddle verse. I don't know if it belongs or not".

Scarborough wrote that "This also is a ring game. Three players are discovered inside the ring, one standing up straighttp represent a tree, one-Old Humpsy, or Old Ponto-crouched besides the tree,and the third representing the old woman. As the song proceeds, the players dramatize the actions sung of, and when the end comes, each of the three selects in succession and the game and song begin all over again."

Dorothy Scarbourgh,On The Trail Of Negro Folksongs (Hatboro, Pennsylvania; Folklore Associates, 1968; originally published Harvard Univ. Press, 1925), pp.136-137

-snip-

I wrote ADD LYR to the title of this post because I didn't see it in the Digital Tradition under the names "Old Ponto's Dead" or under the name "Old Pompey's Dead". As to the latter name, see this website with the words and musical score:

http://maxhunter.missouristate.edu/0326/index.html

**

You may be aware that the "bridle and saddle on the shelf/sing it yoursel" type verses show up in a lot of old Black (US and Caribbean)folk songs and tall tales. See this post I just wrote about that on this Mudcat thread: thread.cfm?threadid=20334#2599660
Lyr Req: The Prisoner's Song (Dalhart , et al.)

**

Fwiw, the verse about the woman picking apples reminds me of the Paw Paw Patch song. But there may be no connection between the two game songs.

Also, fwiw, "Old Ponto's Dead" isn't a game/song that I've ever seen any Black American children playin Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where I live. I'm African American and this isn't a song that I played when I was a child in New Jersey in the 1950s. It would be interesting to see if any adults-Black or non-Black from Houston, Texas know this game. I'm also like to know if any Mudcatters from the UK know this song and/or this game.

-Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 03:29 PM

Oops! I did it again.

I'm sorry about the italics. I often make mistakes with the HTML commands.

:O(

Thank goodness it wasn't bold font.


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: SINSULL
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 04:14 PM

The Golden Vanity
My son's class got all caught up in the injustice theme when they heard it at The South Street Sea Port.


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: Mrs Banjiman
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 05:13 PM

What about "A Drop of Nelson's Blood"?

I've taught that in two primary schools to yrs 5/6 and they like it. Teachers like the historical links to Trafalgar and Admiral Lord Nelson. Kids like the sick tale behind the song of Nelson's body being kept in a barrel of rum to take back to England, but they also like the fact that you can get them to think make up new verses (as some of the originals are not necessarily suitable)

Get them thinking about their school dinners for example, or it was very snowy when I was in one school so we did a verse "A day out in the snow wouldn't do us any harm" as the school had been shut.

Quite a few shanties are good for that age group of children because the call-response nature and the simple rhythmic tunes make them so easy to learn. All kids know "What shall we do with the drunken sailor?"


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,S-j in Newcastle
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 06:20 PM


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,S-j in Newcastle
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 06:28 PM

woops didnt mean to sens a blank post there..
songs I have taught recently in schools that the kids liked and are ok for school censorship that come to mind
are:

Mary Mack
Have you seen owt of ma bonny lad
Buy broom bezzums
Hinny Bird/Its o but a ken well etc
Captain Kidd
Blow the man down
Dolia
George Campbell
Dance to your daddie
Sleep bonnie bairnie
Paddy works on the railway
Cockles and mussels
What would you do if you married a soldier
Prickle eye bush

there's loads more I have used that went well, but these are first that came to mind!

Sarah


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,S-J in Newcastle
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 06:30 PM

ohh just thought for those that like gore - 'there was a lady of skin and bone'


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 12:21 AM

If you google 'songs for children', you will find sites that list many songs. My brief survey seems to show that not many of the songs actually tell a story.

Some suggestions, however. (but not English)

My Grandfather's Clock
O My Darling Clementine
Seeing Nellie Home
Listen to the Mockingbird


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: Acorn4
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 05:49 AM

Tom,

It's not English, but you can have great fun with Leadbelly's "Pick a Bale of Cotton".

I used to do it with Year 5s and they loved the :-

"Me and my papa gonna pick a bale of cotton" -seeing who could sing it fastest.


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 10:25 AM

Yes, Acorn, I enjoyed the tune and the quick tapping effect of 'Pick a Bale of Cotton' when I first heard it.

Scanning the names of songs at the Kididdle site made me realize how many children's songs are silly and have irritating tunes. Tom, if I were you I would simply look for songs of high quality, whether they are English or not and whether they tell a story or not, because there's so much junk out there.


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: Mo the caller
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 11:00 AM

Azizi, I learnt 'Old Roger is Dead' from my mother as a child. It wasn't a playground game in London in the 40s/50s that I know of. I have a vague and probably mistaken memory of it in a school performance.
We sang the the last line as a repeat
e.g. 'Oh, ho, laid in his grave'.

If you want ghosties and ghoulies how about another that my mother sang - (the tune is pathetically easy, you could get them playing along just d e f e every line)
Old wman in a
churchyard sa-at
oo oo oo oo
ah ah ah ah

She was very, very fa-at
oo-oo oo-oo, ah-ah, ah-ah

Saw 3 corpse carried in

They were very very thin

Old wman to the corpses said

Will I be like that when I'm dead

Corpses to the old woman said

BOO!


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 07:31 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions. I've nicked Golden Vanity off Brian Peters and tweaked the words so it makes sense without too much explaining.

Any Uk primary school teachers who feel like taking a look at this and giving me some feedback I'd be more than grateful.

Big day on Thursday - showcase, workshop and stand at the ArtForms open day in Leeds.. I need to have my ducks in a nice neat row.

Cheers

Tom


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: melodeonboy
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 09:16 AM

"Paddy McGinty's Goat"?

Well, you did say songs for "kids"!


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 12:02 PM

Now why didn't I think of that one!!


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 01:09 PM

Hi Tom,

Don't know much about performing in UK schools, but I did notice a typo on your main page for schools:

"This project is primarily designed for Key Stage 2 but may be suitable for some Key Stave 1 children"

Should Key Stave 1 be Key Stage 1?

Otherwise, lovely singing on the video clips! Good luck with this.


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,TB
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 01:12 PM

ta - I was getting carried away with the theory!


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,Old Roger is Dead
Date: 01 Aug 10 - 01:13 PM

Are you still looking for the lyics to Old Roger is Dead? I have an antique handkerchief I'm going to list on EBay soon, and if you still need those lyrics strangely they are written on this handkerchief. Before I sell it I could write the lyrics down for you.
               het44@atlanticbb.net


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: Mo the caller
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 03:12 AM

Now the thread has been revived, how did the showcase go? Did you get any schools work and if so, what did the kids enjoy?


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: Martin Graebe
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 04:50 AM

Missed this first time round as we were on holiday. Shan has put together a selection of children's songs from the Baring-Gould manuscripts for one of the workshops she was doing. Primarily designed for adults to sing to (and with) children you can find the selection on my Baring-Gould website - go to http://www.sbgsongs.org/page26.htm .

Martin


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: stallion
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 05:23 PM

Daddy Fox? A bit Rould dahlish but hey, just been on holiday with my grandchildren and maisie (8) and Amilie (5)played our new cd, three tracks, which they learnt in a week of being driven about by me, were Johnny I hardly knew yer, When Morning Stands on Tiptoe and Johnny come down to hilo. I fully expected them to stick radio 1 as usual but no they put on Grandpa's cd, have to say it surprised me. Maisie did come out with a pearl " Grandpa, do you like Johnny's? ....... you have three on your cd"


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,DAe
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 05:58 PM

This is just my 'Life on the Rolling Sea ' set - some of which have already been mentioned - when I get a chance I'll post some others - the dry land ones!

My Bonny Lies over the Ocean- with stand/sit on B's
Sailor went to sea - sea - sea
3 blind Jellyfish
The Goldfish
The Herrings Head
Noah's Ark
The owl and the pussycat
Pirate song
Shenandoah
Dance to your Daddy
Capt. Kidd
Drunken Sailor
Roll the Old Chariot
Paddy Doyle
Blow the man down
Johnny come down to Hilo


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Subject: RE: Wanted: Traditional Songs for Kids
From: GUEST,Dave Hunt
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 06:05 PM

Sorry - hit wrong button - DAe above should have been me!
I also do some paper tearing - learnt from John Foreman MANY years ago
it involves an anchor, a mermaid and a ships wheel!

I also have some nautical games and I sometimes show a few useful knots eg Reef, Thief, Sheepshank, Clove hitch, Highwaymans or Painter Hitch
Dave Hunt
www.sunshinearts.co.uk


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